Coronavirus testing is ramping up in Franklin County, county officials said Wednesday during the commissioners’ meeting.
Nick Robbins, county health director/EMS director/emergency communications department director, said they tested 108 individuals Monday and Tuesday compared to 48 last week.
The health department set up drive-thru testing on the south side of the county annex for those with appointments.
"I will caution, it is not random testing," Robbins said. "This is by appointment only for individuals we have reached out to and selected from other cases within the community that have had contact."
Robbins said the community has reacted positively about testing.
"We have got a good response from everybody we have talked to," he said. "We have seen the community be in support of public health and what we are doing."
Officials expect positive case numbers to increase because of more testing. Franklin County increased from 14 cases to 20 (as of Friday morning) in a matter of a few of days.
"We are going to find more positive cases throughout the community and state because we are testing more," Robbins said.
Franklin County is concentrating on testing those that are asymptomatic. Robbins said the Kansas Department of Health and Education loosened testing guidelines to test those they expect to be a carrier.
"That has been something that KDHE has not allowed," Robbins said. "We have contacted people that have been around (positive) cases we are looking at to see if we do have any asymptomatic individuals that could be carrying COVID-19."
Robbins said other communities have found up to 40% of positive cases are asymptomatic.
"You may not have an active fever or any of those symptoms and still be a carrier," Robbins said. "That is why we are preaching still wear the mask, make sure you are social distancing, restaurants need to be following the orders of the governor. We know there are asymptomatic carriers out there. We will have carriers in this community."
Ianne Dickinson, county commissioner, said a person that is asymptomatic could pose problems in containing the disease.
"We could be starting things and not know we are the starter," she said.
Robbins said that is why the KDHE is loosening restrictions on testing.
"We have been successful in getting the drive-thru testing going," he said. "If you go to the hospital and are having any surgery they are testing you for COVID-19 now. One of our cases came from their random testing. Some of our positives have come from out-of-county testing and not in-county testing."